Are you experiencing headaches or upset stomach, or feeling tired but can't sleep well without any clear reason why?
Have you ever thought of the possibility that the fatigue or sleep disorder you are experiencing may be a result of infrasound vibration that you are not aware of?
What is infrasound?
A healthy, young human is capable of hearing sounds ranging from 20 to 20,000 Hz. This range is called the hearing range.
On the other hand, infrasound vibration, or ultra low frequency sounds are sounds that are lower in frequency than 20 Hz or cycles per second; they are sounds lower than humans can perceive. However, just because we cannot hear them does not mean we do not respond to them.
Source of infrasound
"The inaudible sound" can be generated from equipments and fixtures that you may not have thought about, such as:
・Air conditioners and external units
・Hot water heaters and boilers
・Household fuel cell cogeneration systems
・Gas engine power generation
・Air blowers (dust collectors, driers, air conditioner cooling towers)
・Vacuum pumps (dehydration pumps, etc), windmills
・Vibrating screens (Vibraring conveyors, spiral conveyors, crushers, etc.)
・Boilers (heating furnaces, hot-blast stoves, converter furnaces, sintering furnaces, etc.)
・Jet engines (jet aircrafts), gas turbines (emergency power generators, etc.)
Some of these equipment are used at industrial plants and sites, located far away from residential neighborhoods, whereas others are equipped and used in households where everyday life of people take place. Thus, people with low thresholds for lower frequency sounds, or who are highly sensitive to sounds would sense those frequencies and are being affected.
And even though you may not hear them, that does not mean that those frequencies aren't there, or do not have any effect on you; after all, sounds are a form of energy and we may be influenced by them through other parts of our body such as facial bones and organs as vibrations.
Characteristics of Infrasound
What are so called "noises" and "infrasound" are essentially different in various ways as described below:
Noises are sounds that fall under the audible range of an average human, namely from 20 to 20,000 Herz. On the other hand, infrasound or infrasonic frequencies are those that are 20 herz or lower.
Noises are easy to hear, whereas lower frequency sounds or infrasound cannot be heard.
3. Distance Attenuation
The further away you are from a point of sound or noise, the smaller the sound becomes. In contrast, infrasound does not weaken, but travels a long way.
Noises can be absorbed or reflected when an obstacle or a partition is placed, and thus can be reduced. However, infrasound penetrates through physical blockades and expands.
5. Difference among individuals
When it comes to unwanted sounds or noises that fall under the 20 -20,000 Hz hearing range, most people would hear them in a consistent manner. Infrasound, however, can be felt by some whereas some do not feel it at all. Those who can sense infrasound and lower frequencies have a broader hearing range and are sensitive to sounds.
6. How the impact is felt
People express noises to be "noisy" or "loud", whereas infrasound are "excruciating" and "painful" to those who can sense them, causing various physical symptoms listed below under "Imoacts of Infrasound."
7. Timing of Impact
Unpleasantness or discomfort occurs immediately when noises occur. In case of infrasound, there is a time lag before the impact is felt, and it comes slowly.
People tend to get used to noises, or become less stressed, whereas infrasound worsen symptoms felt by those who are affected.
9. Soundproof Measures
Noises can be effectively reduced by closing windows or wearing earplugs. However, this does not work for infrasound; in fact, closing the windows or wearing earplugs would make it worse. Opening the window, playing music or turning on the radio or TV would offset and reduce infrasound frequencies
Taking measures against noises can be effective, whereas it is extremely difficult to take constructive measures to reduce or shut out infrasound.
11. Ethnic Variance
Non-Japanese tend to be strict towards noises, but relatively generous to infrasound. On the other hand, Japanese can be tolerant of noises, but can be extremely sensitive to lower frequencies.
Intensity of noise is measured by a unit called decibel. Infrasound, on the other hand, is measured by the 1/3 octave band and the unit used is Hz, and requires dexterity.
Impacts of infrasound on Our Body and Mind
Infrasound can cause various symptoms such as:
Mental and Neurological Symtoms
- Feeling of pressure
- insomnia, sleep deprivation
- Lack of concentration
- Aggressiveness, anger
- Vertigo, dizziness
- Panic attack
- Headaches, migrane
- Dullness, occlusive feeling as if you are wearing a helmet
Chest, Respiratory System
- Breathing difficulties
- Irregular heartbeat
- Rise in blood pressure
- Sense of oppression
- Chest pain
- Sense of occulusion
- Sense or pressure
- lack of equilibrium
- Ringing in the ears
Muscles and Joints
- Numbness in the limbs
- Sore muscles
- Stiff shoulders
- Prone to fatigue
- Chronic fatigue
- Decreased appetite
- Stomach ache
- canker sores
- Bleeding and pain in the gum
- Gray hair
Since each individual has different sensitivity or tolerance level, you may be the only one who sense the vibes and are affected, while the rest of your family members or your partner or your roommates may not sense anything. Thus, even if you try to explain to them, they would not understand. They may even say "you must be hearing things," or "you are too sensitive."
Even if you go for an exam at a clinic or a hospital, you're unlikely to get a clear diagnosis since your major symptoms are chronic fatigue, sleep disorder, dullness, and the like. So a third person, without any objective evidence, would think you are overthinking. Moreover, since it is hard to specify the cause, people tend to suffer from unidentified symptoms as above for a long time.
I have also been going through this experiece myself for over 20 years. The first time I was affected was when I was living in a two-story rental apartment in Tokyo. The air conditioner unit of my downstair neighbor would generate excrutiating vibration during the night when things quiet down.
At first, I had no idea why I was feeling all these discomfort, pain, even. I would wake up often, not being able to stay asleep. After inspecting the surroundings thoroughly, I found out the source of the "noise" or the "vibration."
I also learned that this symptom, once its onset, tends to aggrevate without any effective way to stop it. Moreover, unlike noises which can be prevented through relatively easy measures, it is very difficult to come up with a constructive solution.
I have been experiencing the followings, in addition to the symptoms mentioned above:
・I started reacting to refrigerator motor sounds, became too painful and had to get rid of refrigerator, or, turn off the switch while in the room.
・Myentire body tend to stiff up, and some times cannot grip things with my hands.
・My ears would ring often.
・Falling asleep is very difficult at night when things quiet down, and often times stay up almost all night, feeling exhausted in the morning and can not get up.
・Intolerable pain all over the body when infrasound is being generated.
・I am constantly under stress.
・Bleeding from ears and gums.
・Nausea, light sensitivity; stinging in the eyes
・Supressing sensation on the head, as if my head is covered by a huge bowl, feeling suffocated and squashed.
・Always in the fight or flight mode.
・Sagging eyelids and gray hair from sleep deprivation.
In rare occasions where I come across an infrasound room, I can get deep, quality sleep. Then, I feel rejuvenated instantaneously, and often times, the gray hair would return to my original hair color!
If you are experiencing these symptoms and you do not know the reason why, you may want to check inside your house and outside, and your surrounding to see whether the fixtures and equipments listed above are present. And consider the possibility that infrasound may be contributing to your discomfort or conditions.
For more insights on sensitivity and how to stay afloat in a challenging environment, check out my website: https://noriko-hasegawa.com/contact/